Margaret Joy


One of the lines that pricks up my ears is “ I was going through some old family photos” – almost always there is an attachment of great photos linked to a woody.

Late last year David Engleback sent me a note that started with those words – turns out David’s wife’s grandfather – Gerald Wilson ( of Browns Bay) was aboard the launch – Margaret Joy in Feb 1955 and landed a 220ib. Marlin fishing in the Bay of Islands – as seen in the above photo weighing in at Russell and looking very happy. 

A google search by David popped up some previous WW stories on Margaret Joy, links below. Lots of speculation as to who designed / built her but todays photo confirms the name. Well done Robin Elliott back in 2016 getting it right.




Marlin Waters 1960


The above 12 minute film just popped up on YouTube – a recently reedited (enhanced) film from the old New Zealand National Film Unit and comes to us via Archives NZ and Snooks Fuller.

The film – ‘Marlin Waters 1960’ was filmed in the 1960’s in the Bay of Islands New Zealand and features classic big game fishing in the Bay Of islands. 

We see very early footage of Snooks Fuller and the Lady Doreen and his regular client from America “Poppy”. Also featured is the launch – Margaret Joy. Lots of old footage of Otehei Bay, early Kingfish Lodge and Poor Knights Islands.

While personally I’m not a fan of targeting these beautiful creatures, the film is wonderful insight into the glory days of big game fishing in the far north. If you look closely there are many other classic wooden launches caught on the film.


Does anyone know if Rangiora is still kept in Wellington and also contact details for the owner – email to

Margaret Joy & A Mystery Game Boat



Margaret Joy & A Mystery Game Boat
Today we have two more game launch ex Dean Wright from Snooks and Lola Fuller’s photo collection. Dean produced these images from scanning old b/w negatives, on loan from Snooks.
Questions today are:
1. What do we know about Margaret Joy – she appeared on WW back in April 2016 as a ‘Mystery Launch’ story, there was speculation as to her design (refer link below .> comments section) Keen to confirm the ID & also who built her.
2. Can we ID the launch in the bottom photo?

Margaret Joy


Margaret Joy MYSTERY LAUNCH 02-04-2016
photo ex Robin Elliott

Today’s photo is another that Robin has sent me from a collection of photos from the Whangarei Cruising Club Collection, as far as Robin knows, all are from the 1940’s early 1950’s & and were taken by Palmer Photography in Whangarei (1910-1999). Most by the late Graeme Palmer and possibly some older ones by his father.
The distinctive placement of the porthole window on the cabin sides might help ID her, she also appears to have a good turn of speed.

The Woollacott website lists both a Ghost & a Wolf, the images of Ghost appear to be a smaller vessel. No photos of Wolf.

So woodys who can ID this one? The boat was ID’ed by Nathan Herbert as Margaret Joy

Mondays ww post will be a  trip report from James Dreyer (Laughing Lady) on the Palm Beach International Boat Show, in James words “I have kept the focus on wooden or partially wooden craft, with a little American excess and muscle thrown in for good measure.” – Make sure you check it out.